Healthcare Leaders Gather at MDS Consulting’s Annual Conference to Explore New Era of Partnerships and Collaborations

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Prominent healthcare leaders from around the country were reminded that “You don’t have to get big, you just have to play smarter and get better” as healthcare organizations explored strategies for success at 8 annual Healthcare Leadership and Executive Conference held recently in Las Vegas.

In discussing his “play-smarter” approach, Eric Klein, a partner at Sheppard Mullin, called upon healthcare organizations to “Get people engaged and incentivized” and to “Tighten your focus to what works for you and your patients.” Klein also said that these organizations have multiple strategic choices before them including “going big, going wide, going vertical and going to value.” These options accentuate the changes unfolding in healthcare today as healthcare leaders work to devise innovative approaches, creative models and new strategies that will drive higher quality and greater value.

Klein was one of 19 healthcare thought leaders who comprised faculty for the conference that attracted more than 150 healthcare executives from hospitals, health plans, medical groups and other organizations. With a focus on “the new era of healthcare partnerships,” the gathering provided a forum for discussion on movement to population health management and successful models of care delivery for high-risk patients, in addition to providing updates on Pioneer ACO models, health insurance exchanges, and the status of Medicare fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage plans.

Echoing Klein’s comments and reflecting on “how can we do things better” was fellow faculty member and Alecto Healthcare Services President and CEO Lex Reddy who shared his thoughts regarding the future of independent hospitals. Reddy believes that “As long as there are independent physicians and entrepreneurship exists, there will be the need for independent hospitals”; but to succeed in the future, he advised hospitals to, among other things, shift their focus “from product lines to profitable clinical/patient care services” and to focus on “operational efficiencies which are the constant determinants of success.”

Other faculty members included: Doug Allen, vice president –integration at DaVita Healthcare Partners; Craig Beam, managing director, CBRE Healthcare Services; Diwen Chen, executive director, payment innovation and accountable care, Dignity Health; Bill Gil, vice president and CEO, Providence Southern California Medical Foundation; Jonathan Gluck, senior executive and corporate counsel, Heritage Provider Network; Michael Hunn, senior vice president and regional chief executive, Providence Health and Services, California Region; Brian Jeffrey, president (west region), UnitedHealth Networks, United Healthcare; Joseph Jordan, M.D., chief medical officer, Intercede Health; Steve Larson, M.D., chairman of the board, California Medical Association; Chuck Lehn, CEO, Banner Health Network; Gray Miller, president and CEO, Intercede Health; Mark Morgan, COO (California business), Anthem Blue Cross; John Orsini, executive vice president and CFO, Cadence Health; Andrew Robertson, regional medical director, Blue Shield of California; Rebecca Steinfort, COO, Paladina Health/DaVita; and Paul Viviano, CEO, UC San Diego Health System, and associate vice chancellor, UC San Diego Health Sciences.

“As with prior years this conference provided a great opportunity for high-level healthcare executives to exchange ideas, hear from industry experts, and continue to develop sensible strategies that will help them succeed,” said Phil Dalton, president and CEO of MDS Consulting. “The uncertainty in the evolution of healthcare reform is causing hospitals, physicians and health plan leaders to face unprecedented challenges in charting the future direction of their organizations. Our goal was to help provide the information and tools attendees need in such a dynamic and changing marketplace.”

Dalton said that plans are already underway for MDS’ 9 annual leadership conference, to be held September 14-16, 2014, in Las Vegas.

MDS Consulting is a national healthcare consulting firm that helps hospitals, medical groups, health systems and other healthcare organizations achieve their goals for development, growth and profitability. The MDS team of executive-level professionals provides individualized solutions and creative insights in such areas as physician/hospital alignment, medical group management, health reform/accountable care, financial assessments, hospital/healthcare strategic planning and implementation, and regulatory compliance. Further information may be obtained at .